Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Dialogue - A Lesson with Frank and Mary

Over at the Mad Genius Club, Sarah Hoyt reposts one of my favorite lessons in writing dialogue. 
“Dialogue,” Mary said.
“Yes?” Fred asked.
“How does one do it?” Mary said.
She looked up at him, her blue eyes filled with anguish. Around her the room fell deathly silent.
“By doing it, mostly,” Fred said.
“Yes, but the tags,” Mary said. “Don’t you get tired of saying said and said and said and said. I mean I know they say it’s invisible. But after a while it grates on my nerves.”
“Not really,” Fred said. “It is still preferable to admitted, exclaimed, exhorted or… ejaculated.”
“That’s not what you sa– Oh, you mean as a dialogue tag,” Mary said. “But it gets rather like watching a ping-pong match, doesn’t it?”
“Fine.” Fred smiled. He winked at Mary. “Then do it with action tags. You know, the sort of thing that gives your characters a body and shows that they’re in a physical world. Know what I mean.”
Check out the rest of the lesson here.

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